LeBron-a-thon over, now what?

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    Don’t blame ESPN for this over-the-top made for TV flop, they did what any news outlet would have done in getting an exclusive story EVERYONE would have wanted to release and milked for all its worth.

    Jim Gray has not been the same reporter since hounding Pete Rose at the All-Star game and was tamer than a docile old dog in not asking LeBron James how he explains his “loyalty” to Cleveland and Ohio by leaving.

    If James thought he had pressure before, it’s only going to be worse with much higher expectations moving forward. Dwayne Wade already has a ring and Chris Bosh is the third wheel to fit this tricycle. For casual fans of the NBA, it is assumed the new Three Amigos or Miami Thrice will win a few championships over the next several years.

    That could well happen, but this is far from guaranteed. Forget about touches, sharing the ball and late game shots, that will work out over time. One difference between Boston’s Big Three and the South Beach Buds is the Celtic players were all adequate to superior defensive players. This is not the case with James, D-Wade or Bosh. The first two are good at getting into passing lanes and earning steals, but as straight-up defenders, most of the bouncers on Ocean Drive are more of a challenge to beat.

    This means finding league-minimum players that can play defense and be adequate contributors on offense.

    Hopping into the hot tub time machine, back to the mid-1970’s, the Philadelphia 76ers were similar to what Miami is trying to accomplish. They brought together superstars Julius Erving, George McGinnis and top line scoring guard Doug Collins (that’s right, the analyst and coach). In their time together, they went to the conference or NBA Finals four times, but never were crowned champs.

    No question the Heat is to be taken seriously and the Los Angeles Lakers might have one more title in them, but the rest of the league is starting to flux, making this a good opportunity for this threesome to combine their super hero powers.

    The Commish David Stern has to be thrilled having this buzz about his product and it will more or less continue right onto the opening tipoff in late October.

    One last thing, Miami is now the betting favorite to be NBA champs at every sportsbook I checked today.

    View other thoughts: http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/lebron-james-chasing-celebrity-not-championships-070910

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5367298

    Related LeBron fallout:http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=196407

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